A little more, in the history of which he wrote so many pages. Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score at least one goal in five different World Cups on Thursday when Portugal beat Ghana (3-2) as the 2016 European champions entered the competition. A paradoxical matchup for the now former Manchester United player who struggles before launching his partners to take the lead in this Group H.
During the hymn of emotion
And at the very end of the line of players, a football monster moved hand in hand. Cristiano Ronaldo could not hold back his tears when the Portuguese anthem was played at the 974 Stadium in Doha. A shot in which the director of the meeting lingered for a few seconds, aiming at the head of someone who, 16 years after his first appearance in competition in Germany, is likely to play his fifth and last World Cup in Qatar.
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Emotions from the prospect of the final game caught up with the former Real Madrid striker? The thought of the passage of time and this last opportunity to shine in the final selection? At 37, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner announced before a meeting in the emirate that he would end his career if Portugal won the world title for the first time in the Persian Gulf.
Ghana, who came to play 0:0, nevertheless gave the star the opportunity to write a new page in his legend. But the No. 7 Portuguese, sent to the bench at Manchester United this first part of the season, missed all, or almost all, at first. A duel with the goalkeeper after he completely lost control in the center all alone (10th place), a completely missed header after flying over his defense (13th place) with a cross from the left flank of Rafael Guerreiro or another goal, logically not counted due to an error that could not see Alexander Gika.
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In a word, they didn’t want to, despite repeated attempts by the Portuguese to find their leader, who became more and more annoyed as opportunities were missed. And his blocked shot (42nd) just before the break summed up all the helplessness of the player in the center of this three-sided Ghanaian defense.
Second half penalty for history
A rhythm that will lull the most persistent insomniacs. And suddenly Cristiano Ronaldo is in the box. In contact with Salisu, the striker works out the blow very well and breaks down (62nd). The protests are – on the face of it – legal – Black Stars, but the referee of the meeting, Ismail Elfat, has made the decision, and Var does not intervene to prove him wrong. Obviously, have the former Mancunian convert the offering.
We play in the 65th minute of the game. Cristiano Ronaldo picks up the pace and throws a hard side kick. The missile is too powerful to withstand Ati Zigi. The former Juventus player and all his partners rejoice. He rises into the air, begins his fetishistic celebration, which he half-finishes smiling among the substitutes he has chosen.
The game is really on. Ghana equalized (73rd), then Portugal regained the lead (78th) and made a break (80th). Time for Fernando Santos to knock out his star during a triple substitution. Cristiano Ronaldo steps aside, making way for Gonzalo Ramos before clapping every hand he can. As a result, Portugal won (3-2), the star lit up. We expect more from him on a day when the weight of history will be felt less.